Why Being Selfish Is Sometimes Your Only Hope For Happiness

We have all been taught since a young age to help others. It is the right thing to do. It makes perfect sense to base your life on being helpful. It benefits the common good and is fulfilling to the individual. If “helping” is such a noble and good thing, then clearly nothing negative could ever result from it, right?


Wrong. No one wants to be selfish. The concept of wanting to be helpful is pretty clear. Every decent human being wants to somehow benefit the lives of others. The concept lost on several people is their ability to be helpful. I want to help, I should help, but can I?


Mother Teresa once said that she “[has] found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Was she right? It probably depends on if one is an idealist or a realist. The realist will probably present a carefully reasoned and perfectly valid argument that whether it’s “you” or “them”, someone must always get hurt. It seems like a more negative argument, but it’s possible that this is the world we live in. It might just be some sort of game where the stronger one that gets hurt less “wins”.


I am more of an idealist, and would disagree with Teresa and the idea that anyone has to be hurt in the first place. Many of us will feel hurt by a certain situation, and will overreact and cause it to escalate. Maybe something is taken personally, maybe a joke goes too far, or maybe someone said something completely mindless and cannot take it back. Put these situations aside for a minute and think about intentionally hurting someone for the sole purpose of hurting them. A good example is bullying. There is one kid that’s different for whatever reason, and what will majority of people do? They will treat that kid terribly. It might not be a kid; adults are not always spectacular to each other either. This is a cycle. One person gets hurt and fails to properly deal with the pain that they experienced, so they hurt others.

These are some examples of people who are unstable individuals, and who deal with it by hurting others. What about the “bystanders” in a bullying situation? They are weak. Weak individuals.


Still, you do not have to be a bully or have hurtful intentions to hurt people.

You could be lost in life, and unaware of how you are impacting those that care for you. You could be a friend that is easy to empathize with. You could be someone that others see the good in. Those that see the good in you might choose to fight for that regardless of what they are risking or sacrificing in order to help you. Now, I’m finally circling back to my original question:

If “helping” is such a noble and good thing, then clearly nothing negative could ever result from it, right?



There are so many times that people will guilt themselves into things by thinking to themselves “they need me”. Sometimes it’s good to help someone in need, as long as that doesn’t go too far. Who really needs you? You do. YOU need you. They need themselves. Using someone that you need when you fail to realize that you need yourself is just another example of hurting someone. Yes, there might not have been any negative intentions, but the end result is tragically the same. Lack of security as an individual has lead to hurting and using other people. If we can love ourselves and stop using others, but rather, treat them as the valuable additions to our lives that they are, no one has to hurt.

Featured Image via We Heart It.



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